Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Friend the Alien

Over the years I have read many books I really liked, and some I greatly admired  and even loved. But there's a special connection that I rarely make with a book, when I become the best friend of a character. As the book ends, my heart breaks. My sadness is not necessarily because of a bad thing that befalls my new friend, but rather because my daily time with him or her is ending. The experience is painful, but fills me with joy and wonder at the power of human creation that can make me love someone who doesn't exist at least as deeply as I love the real people in my life.

Most recently this happened to me when reading Adam Rex's middle-grade novel, The True Meaning of Smekday. It wasn't the human protagonist whom I befriended, but her companion, the mixed-up alien who names himself J.Lo in hopes of blending in to Earth's culture. I couldn't get enough of him. Several days after finishing the book, I still think about him, miss him, and keep hoping to find him sitting on my couch eating shaving cream.

What characters have affected you like that?


  1. Oh I relate to this completely. I felt like that about Ramona Quimby as a child and most recently I've felt like that about Pearl in Sally Murphy's Pearl Verses the World.

  2. I do this all the time! I fall in love with characters like Sammy Keyes from the Sammy Keyes series, Stark from the House of Night series, Percy Jackson...I could go on and on. I get very attached.

  3. Though I wouldn't necessarily want him around, I love Peeves from Harry Potter. He really stole the show for me a few times :)